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Archive 2023 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX

  
 
chiron
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


I just went through the Official Ricoh GR Image Thread, and it is a wonderful thread with many, many beautiful and striking photographs. Just unusually excellent and talented photographic work at a consistently high level, in my opinion. Congratulations to the photographers who made the thread.

I am thinking about picking up a GR IIIx--40mm is one of my favorite focal lengths. I even think about picking up both the GR IIIx and GR III and keeping one in each pocket when we travel or I otherwise want to carry light. A 28 and a 40 FOV would suit me very well. I also note that Ricoh just reported excellent financial results for its camera division: “significant increase in sales and profit due to consolidation of PFU and continuation of profitable camera business.“ Both cameras are out of stock at B&H.

I would love to hear from GR users about their experience of the cameras, their image quality, what they like and don't like, high ISO functioning, how full frame users feel about the APS-C sensor, etc., etc., etc. I see that Bill Claff's data rates the GR very well, with it out-performing the Q2 on dynamic range by quite a large margin, sometimes by more than 2 stops, between 200 and 3200 ISO where most of my shooting would take place.

I would be especially interested to hear comments on the strengths and weaknesses of the GR's image quality. Most of the images on the thread are displayed relatively small and we are looking at them in web display. What is GR image quality like more generally? What are the effects of the GR's noise reduction implementation? How well does the IBIS function? How quickly does the camera handle for shooting? What other issues, thoughts, factors to consider, pros or cons?

Especially, how well do GR images print, up to what sizes, and what are the files like to edit?



May 25, 2023 at 08:05 AM
524f44
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


Maybe just rent one and see how it works for you? https://www.lensrentals.com/catalog_search?q=gr A number of your criteria are subjective and what works for me and others may not work for you. I like the GRiii for it's compact size. The perfect camera for me to take on hikes, bike rides, or just a walk around the neighborhood.

I tend to shoot in Av mode and let the ISO float up to 6400 no issues for me, but then again I'm not bothered by a little noise. The other day I nabbed a quick handheld shot of Venus and the new Moon, IS on, gave me a nice clear image. The next day I did a tripod shot of same. Hard to tell much difference between the two.

Back in 2018 I took a long auto trip trough the Midwest. Took nothing but an older model GR, got some of my best photos ever. Because, I believe, I was concentrating on the image/composition not camera equipment/choices. I didn't care much for the older GR because of poor button placement for me. This new generation of GRs, GRiii & GRiiiX suit me to a "t".

The one thing everybody complains about is battery life. it is what it is, nothing's perfect. I just carry an extra battery or two, works for me.

If you want to see any of the images I mentioned about, let me know. I'll shoot you a link to my on-line Adore album.

--
Rod

I

Edited on May 26, 2023 at 04:55 AM · View previous versions



May 25, 2023 at 08:43 AM
chiron
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


524f44 wrote:
Maybe just rent one and see how it works for you? https://www.lensrentals.com/catalog_search?q=gr A number of your criteria are subjective and what works for me and others may not work for you. I like the GRiii for it's compact size. The perfect camera for me to take on hikes, bike rides, or just a walk around the neighborhood.

I tend to shoot in Av mode and let the ISO float up to 6400 no issues for me, but then again I'm not bothered by a little noise. The other day I nabbed a quick handheld shot of Venus and the new Moon.
...Show more

Thank you for the comments, which I found interesting and helpful, especially the points about the GR helping you concentrate on the image and how it affected the quality of the images you made on the road trip. Also what you said about effectiveness of the IS. I don' think rental is for me because I think it would take me a couple of months to really decide about the camera. I think I may just get one and try it for a year. Thanks for the offer about the link to the photos you mentioned. I'll pm you.



May 25, 2023 at 08:53 AM
BrandonSi
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


It's a niche camera for me, but it is useful in limited scenarios. If I want small and great IQ, usually I bring the X-E4 and 18/2 or 35 1.4. If I *need* smaller, then the GRIIIx comes out. Typically this only happens for dinners or events where photography is a secondary purpose or I don't really want the attention that comes along with a 'proper' camera.

Good IQ though, even up to ISO 6400. Here's a quick image I had laying around from the IIIx. ISO 2500, looking at some prints that came out the printer in the basement (pretty dark area).

SooC, very nice colors via Lightroom (cloud).






  RICOH GR IIIx    26mm    f/2.8    1/60s    2500 ISO    0.0 EV  




May 25, 2023 at 09:28 AM
serhan_
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


I would put GR III/IIIx dynamic range similar to Q2 from my experience at apsc dynamic range, not 2 stop better. I think GR has Sony apsc sensor and its noise levels might be a little higher than the Sony cameras at high iso's, maybe due to smaller body that is harder to cool. You can find some raw images online to check them. I like them as portable cameras and lens+stabilization are very good. My other P&S camera that I like is Canon G1X III that has wider lens (digitally corrected like Q2), but slower aperture at the end. I have not printed lately.


May 25, 2023 at 09:43 AM
corposant
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


I've had all three versions of the GR as it's evolved over time. For me it's the quintessential city camera - unassuming and nonthreatening. I'm kind of surprised that snap focus, one it's most useful features, hasn't been copied by anybody else.


May 25, 2023 at 10:21 AM
chiron
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


serhan_ wrote:
I would put GR III/IIIx dynamic range similar to Q2 from my experience at apsc dynamic range, not 2 stop better. I think GR has Sony apsc sensor and its noise levels might be a little higher than the Sony cameras at high iso's, maybe due to smaller body that is harder to cool. You can find some raw images online to check them. I like them as portable cameras and lens+stabilization are very good. My other P&S camera that I like is Canon G1X III that has wider lens (digitally corrected like Q2), but slower aperture at the end.
...Show more

Bill Claff's data at Photons to Photos is very reliable. He is the one who has calculated that the dynamic range of the GR III is overall better than the Q2 and that it is two stops better at 320 & 400 ISO. Take a look.

https://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm#Leica%20Q2,Ricoh%20GR%20III



May 25, 2023 at 03:17 PM
serhan_
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


I check Bill's website as a data point as he normally get his shots from dpreview users. I saw him asking a few times to get reliable information. I gave my experience with the cameras that I own(ed). I bought my GRIIX directly from Ricoh USA. You can check with them. If you are after high dynamic range, get the Sony RX1R II.

chiron wrote:
Bill Claff's data at Photons to Photos is very reliable. He is the one who has calculated that the dynamic range of the GR III is overall better than the Q2 and that it is two stops better at 320 & 400 ISO. Take a look.

https://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm#Leica%20Q2,Ricoh%20GR%20III





May 25, 2023 at 05:46 PM
markhout
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


Sometimes I ignore my GRIII and GRIIIx for a couple of weeks to focus on using my GFX 50Sii, M240 and/or Z7 with top-quality wideangle optics.

Then when I pick up the GRs again, I am stunned by the IQ of the GRs and easy jeans-pocket logistics. Yes my other gear has somewhat higher IQ/DR blah blah, but the GRs nail the photo time and time again.


GR3, 1/30sec 2.8, 320ISO
(click on the image if it doesn't fit your screen)




May 26, 2023 at 01:58 AM
chiron
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


markhout wrote:
Sometimes I ignore my GRIII and GRIIIx for a couple of weeks to focus on using my GFX 50Sii, M240 and/or Z7 with top-quality wideangle optics.

Then when I pick up the GRs again, I am stunned by the IQ of the GRs and easy jeans-pocket logistics. Yes my other gear has somewhat higher IQ/DR blah blah, but the GRs nail the photo time and time again.

GR3, 1/30sec 2.8, 320ISO
(click on the image if it doesn't fit your screen)

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52147011589_67d1b7dd46_h.jpg


Very nice image. And I think you make a very strong point about how different cameras can enable different kinds of photographs.

When the Leica was at its peak in the work of people like Cartier-Bresson, it was the smallest, lightest, quickest camera body available in a space dominated by medium format cameras that were bulky and slow to operate. Even the SLRs when they arrived were loud, large, and clunky compared to the svelte and quiet Leica. The Leica was the pixie that HCB (if you have ever seen a film of him shooting) made dance at the tips of his fingers.

I have often thought of getting a Leica, but the lack of autofocus, the imprecision and blockages of the optical viewfinder, and the vulnerability of the old-fashioned mechanical focusing mechanism to imprecision have discouraged me. I'm sure I would have far too many misfocused images in the kind of shooting that I most often do and wind up selling the camera after six months. But, of course, YMMV.

I sometimes wonder whether HCB, if he were starting to shoot now, would choose the Leica or something like a Ricoh GR or a mirrorless body. The choices now are so different than when HCB started in the early 1930s. Some eminent photographers, like Frank Horvat and Saul Leiter, who started with Leicas went on to use small, automated camera bodies with inferior optics for their later work, including for some of their best images. Others, like Joel Meyrowitz, continue to love and swear by their Leicas.

I personally wish there were a full frame, autofocus, rangefinder-sized body with IBIS that were optimized for quiet and discreet shooting. A Leica Q with interchangeable autofocus lenses and IBIS would be great! Call it the MQ-1. But for now, until someone does something like that as I am sure they eventually will, the Ricoh GR bodies and the Fuji x100v and X-Pro are as close as we can get.

Edited on May 26, 2023 at 12:56 PM · View previous versions



May 26, 2023 at 10:36 AM
markhout
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


Spot on. "Horses for courses".

My GRs are for daily use - smartphone IQ doesn't get close. The Z7 is for sports, the GFX for landscapes and also for shallow depth of field, the M240 for ... well...

Let's just say that this Techart AF adapter that lets M lenses use autofocus on my Z7 pretty much relegates the M240 to the closet.

Edited on May 26, 2023 at 12:49 PM · View previous versions



May 26, 2023 at 12:48 PM
ggweci
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


chiron wrote:
I personally wish there were a full frame, autofocus, rangefinder-sized body that were optimized for quiet and discreet shooting. But for now, until someone does that as I am sure they eventually will, the Ricoh GR bodies and the Fuji x100v and X-Pro are as close as we can get.


You just described the Leica Q series - it has all those features, plus OIS, macro capabilities, and in the case of the Q2, weather sealing and the ability to crop in to 35mm and even 50mm with ease. More costly, used original Q's are inline with used X100V's and new X-Pro3's.

I have a Q-P and the GRiiix. Both are great at what they do.

The GR has excellent IQ and is just too easy to carry around. The snap feature is great, but not an easy as with the 28mm GR (had a couple of those before as well).

The Q is more fun to shoot and the IQ is a large step up. Not so much in DR, but on the FF nuances that are hard to put on a spec sheet, other than a FF 1.7 lens vs a 2.8 APSC one.

If I had to choose one to shoot with, it would be the Leica every time. The GR is the one for when compactness is the top priority or for a true everyday carry that doesn't require extra planning since it can go in a pocket or more often for me, the bag of choice I have with me since it always fits. Anything larger especially lens-wise, means a different bag choice.



May 26, 2023 at 12:48 PM
chiron
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


ggweci wrote:
You just described the Leica Q series - it has all those features, plus OIS, macro capabilities, and in the case of the Q2, weather sealing and the ability to crop in to 35mm and even 50mm with ease. More costly, used original Q's are inline with used X100V's and new X-Pro3's.

I have a Q-P and the GRiiix. Both are great at what they do.

The GR has excellent IQ and is just too easy to carry around. The snap feature is great, but not an easy as with the 28mm GR (had a couple of those before as well).

The
...Show more

Ha! In fact, I was just adding something about the Q to my post when you added yours! I agree the Q would be excellent for what I am describing IF it had interchangeable lenses and IBIS. I am more a fan of the 40mm FOV than of the 28, especially if I am going to be stuck with not being able to change it. So. for me, the GR IIIx with 40mm lens and IBIS is preferable.



May 26, 2023 at 12:52 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


chiron wrote:
Very nice image. And I think you make a very strong point about how different cameras can enable different kinds of photographs.

When the Leica was at its peak in the work of people like Cartier-Bresson, it was the smallest, lightest, quickest camera body available in a space dominated by medium format cameras that were bulky and slow to operate. Even the SLRs when they arrived were loud, large, and clunky compared to the svelte and quiet Leica. The Leica was the pixie that HCB (if you have ever seen a film of him shooting) made dance at the tips of
...Show more

I know a lot of prominent street shooters nowadays use the Fuji X100 series as their only camera. Hard to beat for versatility, quality and value.



May 26, 2023 at 01:08 PM
chiron
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


Good to hear that. Now if one could only find one for sale! The GR III & IIIX are also sold out at B&H and even at Amazon.

If someone would make a truly modern rangefinder with autofocus, IBIS, and small fine interchangeable lenses, they would clean up.



May 26, 2023 at 02:00 PM
serhan_
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


LIke new used one:
https://www.mpb.com/en-us/product/ricoh-gr-iiix/sku-1978899

chiron wrote:
Good to hear that. Now if one could only find one for sale! The GR III & IIIX are also sold out at B&H and even at Amazon.

If someone would make a truly modern rangefinder with autofocus, IBIS, and small fine interchangeable lenses, they would clean up.





May 26, 2023 at 02:07 PM
chiron
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


serhan_ wrote:
LIke new used one:
https://www.mpb.com/en-us/product/ricoh-gr-iiix/sku-1978899



Thank you for suggesting it, but I wouldn't buy from MPB. I bought a lens from them last month that they had listed as "Excellent," which according to them meant the lens was "close to new."

It was closer to a hockey puck than it was to new. It had several long scrapes on edges revealing bare metal and three or four other spots where the finish was damaged. When I sent photos of some of the scrapes and objected to the quality of the lens, I was told that I had to pay shipping to return it because the manager said the lens fit their definition of "excellent." On FM's buy-sell forum, the lens would be rated an 8, with multiple ugly marks and signs of rough usage.



May 26, 2023 at 02:18 PM
zugzwang2
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


I purchased the GR IIIx about ten months as a supplement to my regular Sony kit.* I like the lens--40mm seems about right to me—but I use it mostly outdoors, and rarely wide-open. The autofocus seems quite slow compared to my Sony experience, but there’s the useful and adjustable snap focus function if you need an immediate response. FWIW, I thought that I’d be bothered by the lack of a viewfinder, but I got over it.

I process the raw files in Capture One 22. My now-outdated version of the program (apparently unlike Lightroom) doesn’t play well with the camera, so I first change the EXIF to indicate that the files come from the GR III. That’s not much trouble, and the files then work well with C1.

Since I shoot raw, I can’t comment on Ricoh’s built-in noise reduction. I have Topaz Denoise if I need it (as, for example, for first light at 12,000 feet on Mt. Whitney last year—when the GR IIIx was my only camera since the prospect of 6,000 feet up and then down in a day seemed to preclude carrying my usual gear). I don’t print beyond 16x24 inches, but for prints of that size I’d likely up the resolution using Topaz Gigapixel.

Bottom line: I like it as a take-anywhere camera, so much so that I’m trying to justify carrying it along with two or three manual focus lenses during a three-week hiking trip this summer.

*I use an A7R III with Loxia 25, Voigtlander 35 and 50 APO-Lanthars, and an 85mm Tele-Tessar—and I keep a 55/1.8 for family stuff.



May 26, 2023 at 08:48 PM
darrellc
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


IBIS is awesome on the GRIII compared to Sony FF. I was able to get sharp shots at .25-.5 sec pretty often.


May 27, 2023 at 01:28 PM
RoamingScott
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · User & Image Quality Reports on Ricoh GR III & GR IIIX


Interesting thread to read through. Occasionally I lust for the 40mm version, but I keep coming back to the images I see posted online are muted and flat when compared to the Fuji X100 files. Whether that’s the JPEG profiles or just happens to be the way people are processing their RAW files, I can’t say. Most look like they could have been taken with a phone to me.

I love truly pocketable cameras…right now that role for me is being filled by a 35mm P&S. If Fuji could make this form factor I’d be on it immediately.

There is just such a marked IQ difference between the Ricoh and Fuji that I can’t justify playing with the Ricoh.



May 27, 2023 at 03:28 PM
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